tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 3, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
that one is drif ben to right field, it's gone! the game is tied at three. >> raul ibanez, but the big question, who is going to deliver one knockout punch in denver tonight? i'm thomas roberts. mitt romney under pressure to crush it tonight. stage is set. the coin has been flipped. all the practice, all the pregaming comes down to tonight, but with both sides getting their game faces on in these final hours. >> i think mitt romney has an opportunity to shake up the race tonight. obviously, you know, expectations, both sides have been playing the expectations game. the reality is that challengers win the first debate more ten than not. >> i think if mitt is just mitt, he's going to do just fine because i've been to over 100 events with mitt romney. small settings, big sets.
he's compassionate, confident, passionate, energetic. he's all of these things. >> today, new polls shows ohio solidly in the obama dugout, but in two other major battlegrounds, the race has tightened. the president still leading, but romney has narrowed the gap in virginia as well as florida. >> these states are really getting tight so such a degree that a great performance by romney tonight could change the dynamic. >> this is big stakes. this is really an opportunity where people -- >> tonight is a huge debate. >> all right, so however on the eve of the first debate, duelling videos were released featuring president obama and paul ryan, but is either a game changer? and team romney seized on an unforced error made by joe biden on the campaign trial. >> how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that's been buried the last four years. >> the middle class in america
is hurting. >> the middle class has been buried the last four years. >> kristen welker and peter alexander are with the obama and romney campaigns in these final hours before the first match-up, the debate tonight. we begin with kristen in nevada with the president. the president will travel to colorado in just a matter of hours. good morning. >> good morning. that's right. president obama will take off for denver in just a few hours. i'm told he'll have a little bit of down time with the first lady before the debate. he'll also do a walk through of the venue. here's how it's going to work. president obama will be given the first question. mitt romney will have the final word tonight. the debate will be broken up into six 15-minute segments for a 90-minute debate. it will include three on the economy, one on health care, one
on governing and one on the state of government. the role of government, i should say. now, both candidates will be standing at podiums. no strict time limits. each candidate will have two minutes to answer that question and then the rest of the segment will be an open discussion about the topic at hand. so that is how the debate is going to do. aides with the obama campaign say his goal is to deliver his message in a crisp and clear manner. to not seem too long winded as sometimes he has in the past. so that's really his goal and also to make the case about why he thinks he can do a better job in these next four year of turning the economy around and to really give people specifics. as i said, the first lady will be there tonight. it is their 20th anniversary. no time to really celebrate tonight. they say they will do that this weekend. >> quite a way to celebrate.
thanks so much. we head tout peter alexander in denver, where mitt romney has been for several days now prepping for the debate this evening. >> you had plenty of sports metaphors in that introduction. we'll give you another. you can see they're preparing for a slug fest here. the picture of the president and mitt romney as they prepare. you heard from kristen what the president's aides say he needs to do. mitt romney's aides say he needs to respectfully indict the president's what they called failed policies over the last four years. another thing he may have to do is improve his likability. more than 50 million expected to watch. look at where the numbers stand. his unfavorable versus favorable numbers are the lowest in the nominee has had since 1992. that was george h.w. bush. you see the numbers in florida, virginia and ohio. in all three states, his favorable numbers are below 50%. and those 47% comments have certainly taken a toll on mitt
romney as well. for people registered voters who were given a full description of those comments, after hearing that full description, 45% had a more negative view of mitt romney. 23%, a more positive view. >> you think the open was too sports centery? >> i liked it. >> good. peter alexander in denver. thanks so much for bringing our debate day power panel. now, we asked all of you in advance for your pointers for each of the candidate and we're going to put those up on the screen as we talk about this. so joy, i want to start with you. let's show the tips you have for governor romney about the type of performance he needs to deliver on. don't try too hard. don't get too snippy. this is a tall order. you are trying to see mitt romney cast that leadership vision and in an area where there's a lot of pressure.
>> they telegraph it, romney has these zinger plan, but i think the risk is that he gets too desperate to have a big moment and that he overplays his hand. and if you look back at mitt romney's perfoance in the primaries, he did have a tendency to get snippy, and he already has some under water numbers on likability. the third on specifics is the very small number of undecided voters left. when they're asked why they're undecided, they say they want specifics about the plans of both of the candidates. so i think mitt romney can want get away from getting away from some specific data points. >> there will interesting to see how he gets his voice heard. american cross roads is out with a new ad hitting the president on his record. >> if you don't have a record to run on, then you paid your opponent as someone people should run from. >> not taking responsibility.
not getting results. not telling the truth. we can't afford anymore of barack obama's weak leadership. >> certainly heard paul ryan bring up that point on the trial saying you point your other person, you don't have a record to run on. the president does have a record he will address, but the point is you say for president obama, be in control, paint the picture, don't filibuster. that is important for the president about taking responsibility for the record, the good and the bad. >> yeah, in terms of like be in control, when you're talking about a debate where there's not a lot of rules if you will, there's tho time limit on some of these questions. that creates an opportunity. especially if you're a challenger. so come in and seize this debate. he can't let romney control this debate and that's what i think romney's going to try to do. paint the picture. you're talking about not only explaining what you did, what you inherited, this fiscal mess,
the number of jobs you created, but where you're going to lead this country and then contrast that strongly and put romney on the defensive about the fact how can you actually tell the american people that the policies you support, which are the same that created this mess, are going to lead us to a different direction and then don't filibuster. i love the president, but boy, he has a tendency to go on and on in some of those questions and in a debate, that can get you in trouble. >> get in, get out. new polling is showing mitt romney has narrowed the gap. good news for him. in the last two weeks and your tips, you said the governor needs to show passion for the country and it people. what does he say to voters to do that because there is still the sting from that 47% remark that people are not walking away from that is resognating. >> one of the things we often had conversations with rick santorum about. he had no lack of passion on the
stage. one of the things he did was leave everybody in a negative tone. with the statistics of where we are now. unemployment being high and poverty being high. and then just walk off and say thanks, everybody. we kept trying to explain to him, you have to turn around and uplift the country and say, but we don't have to be here. we don't have to be falling away from the rest of the world. we can be the leader in this world and that's what mitt romney has to do. he can't overstep. overswing here. to continue on the sports metaphors as you started with, but he has to line out a vision for the country. and one thing he hasn't been able to do yet that he has to do tonight in my opinion is reagan did a good job of linking the current economic situation to carter's record. we all know the economic numbers are bad now. he has to link that directly to the president, which he hasn't
been able to do. with the media not filtering his comments, hopefully, he'll be able to. >> so, as we see vice president biden not doing any favors and joe scarborough had this reaction to morning on "morning joe." >> vice president biden just today said -- >> god bless him. >> mike, we love you. has anybody not told him they've been in the white house for the past four years buried, the middle class has been buriy eie over the past four years? >> i am being deadli lly ernest. you saw the look come over his face. is there any way to spin that that doesn't indict the president for having a major part in that? >> i had a lot fewer gray hairs before i started working for political candidates and listen, he clearly misspoke.
we know what he meant, this is politics. this is a brutal business and on both sides, they're not going to let things like this go. but when the reality is these kind of things are fleeting. because at the end of the day, what voters are going to fixate on, especially tonight, are two contrasting, powerful visions for the country. governor romney's in a terrible new direction and president obama's, which is going to say listen, look what we dealt with and look where we're going to lead this country. i'm the one that's going to stand up for the middle class. he's going to lay that out clearly. he's going to box governor romney in. >> hogan, do you think that the president will have a soft spot with biden's gaffes come up and that will annoy him and romney can get the president off balance? >> they could. i like in those types of comments, and romney's made them, too, i liken them to being in the south and having gnats
around them. they're not really hurting them. i think that chris is right. this needs to be a bigger vision, a bigger message and while those things try to take you off task and do a lot of the time, get you off your message, romney's got to be disciplined and they have to drive their message home. >> like they say in the south, bless their hearts. just bless their hearts. bless them. our debate power panel. my thanks to all three of you. our prime time coverage of tonight's debate begins at 8:00 here on msnbc, the place for politics. and after the debate, there is going to be a special midnight edition of "hardball." up next, two tapes cause a stir on the eve of the presidential debates. one from the right on president obama and one from the left on paul ryan. will either have an impact? al sharp top is going to join me. plus, joe biden a sex symbol? i'm going to talk to
politico's -- they're dancing on the set. we're going to talk about this with jonathan allen, who says vice president biden is bringing sexy back to the medicare crowd and what do you think? we want to hear from you. do you think one of the candidates will deliver a knockout punch? you can tweet me and we'll get some of your responses. i can't believe you're missing chris and joy dancing. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot?
news organizations including nbc covered during the 2008 campaign of barack obama speaking about the issue of race at hampton university in virginia. now, on the left, a tape of paul ryan with comments similar to mitt romney's 47% remarks. let's take a listen to a portion of the president. >> people asked me whether they thought race was the reason the response was so slow. i said, no, this administration was color blind in its incompetence, but, but everyone here knows that the disaster and the poverty happened long before the hurricane hit. >> so joining me now is the reverend al sharpton, host of politics nation and the obama campaign calling this a tra transparent attempt to bring up something if the president's past to discredit him.
the romney campaign has distanced themselves. does this tape have any weight? again, this is from '07, during the height of the campaign for president obama. >> he was an official candidate. the press was there. the speech was covered. including this station. and how does it become devicive in '12? he says that the administration was color blind, but that they clearly had dealt with the reaction to katrina wrongly, which any number of national polls said that most citizens felt, so i mean, if this is the best they've got, then i think the president's in great shape. >> so, the other tape that's getting a lot of attention, the "huffington post" releasing video of paul ryan talking about a quote, moral tipping point, in the united states, six months before the 47% comments. take a look. >> the good news is survey after survey, poll after poll, still
shows that we are a center right 70-30 country. 70% of americans want the american dream. they believe the american idea. only 30% want the welfare state. >> all right, so he at least gives credit to 17% more people than mitt romney did, but how damminging is that f in to have the same mentality, considering there's a minority portion that would rather get welfare checks than jobs? >> i think whether it's condemning or not is defining because it shows that both the presidential and vice presidential candidates and th republican party have the same attitude that there's a large block of americans, one saying 47, the other saying 30%, that want to be welfare dependent or want a welfare state and they want to be president and vice president. when they identify this large block of americans that in effect, they're saying are
mooches. what what's interesting, one tape, you have a president now or candidate at that time, that was questioning the administration. the other, you have a vice presidential candidate questioning the american people. i think the contrast is obvious. >> one thing we should talk about coming up to tonight's debate is mitt romney's had a lot of practice, he also had awkward moments. take a look. >> 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet? i'm running for office for pete's sake, i can't have illegals. i'm mitt romney and yes, wolf, that's also my first name. >> will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. i'm speaking. i'm speaking. you get 30 seconds. this is the way the rules work here is that i get 60 seconds --
>> what the american people want the truth -- >> anderson? >> you say you knew -- would you please wait? are you just going keep talking? >> those debates, the democratic side of things. >> i never debated someone that couldn't remember which agencies they wanted to close. >> that's a good point, but do you think mitt romney has had enough practice and time prepping and probably looking a lot over those tapes, reviewing the sports feed, so to speak, to get ready for tonight? >> he certainly had enough time. he's had enough time to review the tapes to see where he could be stronger and he has certainly had enough time to prep. i think that we will see him at his best tonight because he has to turn this campaign around. whether his best is good enough, we'll see. i think the president has always held his on in the debates leading up to the presidential race of 2008 and let's not
forget, hillary clinton to me, had a lot more sub tans to me than anyone mitt romney's faced in the primaries. i think it's going to be a very interesting debate. >> give you a half a birthday bump. >> friday. >> it's a big week. >> i'm a little older than you, thomas. >> not by much. you're part of the prime time coverage. >> my birthday gift is to see a great debate tonight. >> it's going to make for quite some dinner conversation. watch "politician nation" here at 6:00, then the rev joins the prime time team tonight. nate silver's projection -- coming up which just hours to go before the first debate, what advice to michelle obama and ann romney have for their husbands? plus, the fight for the female vote. colorado congresswoman joins me live.
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here's a look at some stories topping the news now. a series of suicide bombings in syria's largest city have reportedly killed 35 or 33 people. three explosions rocked a government controlled district in aleppo. more trouble to report for american airlines. a flight returned to dallas last night when a cockpit light indicated a landing gear problem. meanwhile, american says it knows why seats have come loose on two different planes. the troubled airline saying clamps were not properly installed. crews are checking more planes today after inspections found four others with that problem. coming up, i'm going to talk to former abc journalist, carl simpson, the first african-american woman to moderate a presidential debate in 1992 and we haven't had a female moderate a debate since,
on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? we are just hours away from the first presidential debate and any next guest has a unique perspective into the history of these big moments. she is not only a veteran journalist, but a former nbc news and abc world news tonight anchor who in 1992, became the first african-american woman to ever moderate a presidential debate. the now famous rumble in richmond with then president president h.w. bush, bill
clinton and ross perot. >> in terms of the recession, of course you feel it when you're president of the united states. that's why i'm trying to do something about it. >> it really is a pleasure to have you here with us today touching on that 1992 contest. clearly, the most at ease was bill clinton. >> i heard pundits talking about what may happen today and i don't believe anybody knows. the best laid plans of the campaigns, who knows what's going to happen. jim lehrer's questions may alter the course of events. we don't know if romney's going to get to use his zingers. we don't know if obama's going to press the 47% issue. i don't think anybody knows
what's going to happen. >> as a moderator, not only did you make history, you had to walk a very line, but what sort of pitfalls do moderators have to be wary of? >> well, you have, you can't, you can't think about what people are going to say about you. i tried to do my job as a good journalist, to be fair and to be objective and to be professional. and to seek the truth. i employed those attributes as a reporter and despite how professional i thought it was an how fair i thought i was, i was accused of making george bush look bad and of making clinton look good, which was completely false. clinton did his thing on his own. and the public saw his warmth
and his ability to connect with people and they liked that. george bush blew that question you showed a part of. that was the good part of his answer, but when he first heard the question, he was like, i don't get it and people remember that he said i don't get it. and that was about the economy. and that's what people were feeling and hurting. >> when we talk about the fact you were the last female journalist to have access to a presidential debate like this and would you remind everybody that gwen eiffel moderated the '04 debate, an honor, but not a game changer, but you did write a piece -- we have candy crowley, who has the duties for one of these debates. you say don't forget, you will be treated differently because you are a woman. how is it different for women or
minority moderators, when it comes to those tough questions on a woman's right to choose. is there an extra cautious line women need to take in asking that? >> she's not going to have the chance. that's what i'm upset about. candy is going to have the same format that i had, which is the town hall format. that's questions from the audience. questions from the voters. it's not questions from the moderator. she will hold the microphone for the other people the way i did. and she won't get to ask her own questions. however, jim lehrer and bob schieffer are going to be able to go head to head with each of the candidates and ask their questions, so i'm upset that women seem to be marginalized. >> great to have you on.
thank you. >> i'm so excited. thank you, thomas. he knows the job. he's been doing it for quite some time. he's a very good debater, so i do they will him to have fun and relax and just be himself. if he's the barack obama the country has come to know and trust, he's going to do a great job. >> i tell him that you know what, sweetie? you had five boys. you learned to argue really well and make your points years ago. >> michelle obama and ann romney with advice for their husbands. the first lady will campaign for her husband this afternoon in nevada. meantime, ann romney campaigned in the state yesterday where she tried to appeal to women voters. that as our battleground state polling shows today that president obama has lost support. just three points down from 12
last month. however, the president still holds formidable leads among women voters in ohio and virginia. joining me now -- the sight of tonight's debate. it's great to have you here. showing president obama losing support with women voters. why do you think that might be the the case there? >> i think that women voters are looking at mitt romney's policies and they're realizing that they're not good for women. economic policies. the health care policies. family planning. in florida, of course, medicare's a big issue. women really want to look at candidates that are going to support issues that help women and families and that's what's going on. i think in florida and around the country. >> but do you think because the pol polling is is showing the president is losing support -- that he has been campaigning op are not good for women?
>> oh, well, i think that, i'm sorry, i misunderstood. i thought you said president obama was winning in florida. i still think that as women begin to look at the policies more and more, they will increasingly support the president as we're seeing in other states. in colorado, for example, where the debate will be held tonight, president obama has a healthy lead among women, particularly suburban independent women and we're going to be working hard on that. >> i want to get your reaction to the new finding that shows mitt romney leads on dealing with the deficit, the economy, while the president leads on a host of issues while looking out for the middle class. do you think joe biden's remarks about the middle class being buried will make the president's job harder tonight? >> the middle class has really suffered as a result of this
economic downturn and frankly, president obama knows that. and he has been working to enact policies that will help the middle class. mitt romney's recent remarks about the 47%, he doesn't represent them. they're not going to vote for him. those are the people who have been hurt by this economy and they're the people frankly that president obama and the democrats in congress have been trying to work to help as we begin to come out of this recession. certainly tax cuts for the top 1% of americans are not going to help middle class voters. >> one thing i want to get your take on, looking specifically at your own state, colorado, our latest poll showing president obama with a five-point lead over mitt romney. 5 50-45%. the political landscape there changed since george bush won that state. president obama though carrying it by nine points in '08. in your opinion, what has
changed? >> what's changed in colorado is we have a lot more high-tech industry. we have a lot of renewable energy and solar. and we have voters who really care about the environment and the economy. and president obama, his policies really appeal to those voters a lot more. it's interesting that now it's a five-point lead because for about six months, up until a week or two ago, president obama had a narrow one to two-point le lead, so that really shows that president obama is breaking out in some of the key swing states like colorado. >> we shall all be watching tonight to see how things go down there in denver. diana degette, thank you, i appreciate it. up next, painting denver pink. planned parenthood launches an anti romney blitz in colorado. i'm going to talk to the organization's president. plus, bringing sexy back. politico's jonathan allen says
biden is number two on the ticket, but number one in their hearts. how the v.p. is winning over seniors. and you can join our conversation on facebook. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot? check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic.
as we've been talking about, female voters in colorado are gearing up for the debate. that includes a campaign from planned parenthood to paint denver pink by openly questioning the republican candidate's position on women's rights. >> dear mitt romney, while you're here in colorado, i hope you'll answer a few questions. when you say -- >> planned parent head, going to get rid of that. >> did young how important it was to women? why do you want to put an end to
save legal abortion? i'll be watching you for answers. >> joining me now is plan t parenthood president cecile richards. how effective has this campaign that you've launched been and what kind of support questions that you're seeing from people out there who are curious exactly about where mitt romney stands or not when it comes to positions of planned parenthood? >> well, great to be on, thomas. thanks for having me. we've had thousands of women and men write in questions that they they'd like to have mr. romney answer and inn the ad really said it. the questions we're getting is mitt romney has said he's going to overturn roe versus wade, get rid of planned parenthood and end the national family program that provides cancer screenings to women every year.
this is the question on women's mind, and men's, what is his plan for women. seems he is committed to rolling back the clock on women's health care. >> when we talk more about what we've seen on the left like sandra fluke, an activist who has been thrust on to the political forefront and has embraced that to be a face of talking about a woman's right to choose and planned parenthood, how much awareness has she brought? i find it fascinatiing that not just women, but men. this isn't just a women's issue, this is an issue for all. >> that's right. it's incredible. there was a dpraet story today i think in gra mor magazine that just came out. a wonderful interview with the president. basically said that for women and again, for a lot of men, 99%
of women use birth control and the exciting thing is now because president obama and the affordable care act, birth control is now for the first time going to be covered just like all other prescriptive medicine in this country and for no co-pay. i think for women, this is again, a health care issue, but a basic economic issue. for women to get their preventive care covered at no co-pay in america is a huge achievement. i don't think women are ready to go back. >> and part of it -- there is a sense that somehow if federal government is not doing enough to shape how women make decisions about their own bodies and health. why do you think in modern times in 2012, something settled a long time ago is such a hot button issue today? >> well, honestly, for most,
it's not a hot button issue. i really do think this is a place where mitt romney and paul ryan are way on the extreme of women's health care issues. most of the folks in this country want to focus on the economy and rebuilding the economy. jobs. increasing access to health care, so it's incredible to me in planned parenthood that we would have a presidential candidate to say he's going to overturn roe, go backwards on that, and also repeal the health care act, which provides women now preventive care for the first time. actually, we can't be preventing from getting insurance because of a preexisting condition and i think third, which is extremely important for a lot of us, we can now cover our children on our health care plan. my three kids are on my plan as the result of the affordable care about and i definitely, that is an economic issue for me and millions of others of women
and men in this country. >> thanks for joining us from denver. i appreciate it. >> thanks for having me, thomas. >> colbert having some fun with the rapport that romney will have zingers in tonight's debate. >> and here's how. >> word on the street is that mitt romney has been practicing zingers since august. >> prepared a bunch of zingers. >> zingers. >> zing. >> zingers. because americans to know. that their leader has a well honed sense of zing. >> it ain't nothing but a zing thing. so in denver yesterday, romney stopped by the tex-mex chain. he posed for a pic with a few employees there. check out the guy on the right. it's good stuff. might not help romney with the
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welcome back, everybody. earlier we asked you, do you think that one of the candidates will deliver a knockout punch tonight? landon tweeted one thing is for sure, one liners and zingers are not going to win this election. here's one from mario, pretty sure obama will knock that debate out of the park. and dan tweeted, one can hope but it will be a drawp. people will hear what they want to hear. most minds were made up months ago. if this year's election were judged on the ability to keep things interesting on the campaign trail joe biden would win hands down.
his speeches are not the only part of the equationp. there is the matter of his sex appeal. take a look at this. >> since i've been here a number of times over the last 20 years, i knew it was going to be -- you mind if i take my coat off with your permission? thank you. all right. >> check out the buysep flex -- are we really going to show a bisep flex? we missed it. okay. close your eyes. okay. the vp's allure is the subject of a new piece in politico. politico senior washington, d.c. correspondent jonathan allen wrote it and joins me now. jonathan, we did miss the bicep shot, paul ryan has the px 90 thing going on. we've seen the example of joe biden on the trail, joe biden being very smooth, trying to relate and be charming, charm offensive with the female crowd, hang out with the biker ladies.
we saw that picture. from a political perspective is he the obama camp's secret weapon or their biggest headache? >> probably a little both. definitely a headache in terms of saying things like the middle class has been buried over the last four years, but in terms of their charm offensive he's somebody who they believe can relate well to working class folks, white working class folks pap tour of delis and diners and places, lunch counters, where working folks are going to eat in the middle of the day. in particular, though, there's a certain set of women i like to call them the medicare eligible set, 65 and over and certainly a little younger than that who obama has had a lot of trouble with. he's got a huge lead among women overall but as women are older, they are less likely to be in his camp. mitt romney actually leading in that 65 and over column by 48% to 43% in the gallup poll in august. joe biden, though, seems to do very well with them.
there are a lot of reports that come out of these diners that he goes to, women grabbing him and hugging him as much as he's known for being touchy-feely. you see the gushing quotes about how handsome, charming, adorable he is. this is a set he' making a connection with. >> they need that connection in florida where right now according to our newest poll it is tight and getting a little tighter for mitt romney where president obama is leading 47 to 46. so right there basically a dead heat. politico senior d.c. correspondent jonathan allen, thanks for coming on shows and talk about the sex appeal of joe biden. much appreciated. >> not my judgment, thomas. the judgment of others. >> we'll leave it for the masses to consider. that's going to wrap things up for me today. tomorrow here is a list of some of our all-star post debate guests. host of the ed show ed schultz lined up, patrick es par ta of the dnc, plus the fact clerk extraordinary glen kessler.
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everything you've grown to love about sunday dinner into each of her pot pies. tender white meat chicken and vegetables in a crust made from scratch. marie callender's. it's time to savor. fight night is here. how many times will the 47% be mentioned? can mitt romney make a joke that people laugh at. will the president sing? who is bill clinton's best friend? can you win a debate. it's wednesday, october 3rd and this is "now." joining me today, host of "studio 360" and author of "true believers" kurt andersen, msnbc political analyst and newly minted vice president and executive editor